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#1762527 - 09/30/11 07:41 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Arctic_Mama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
That is AWESOME! Thirds and sixths make my brain twitch, I'm leaving that and the other twists for spot practice warmups when I have them all down.

You're making awesome progress and fortunately kids don't seem to mind the repetitious nature of scales quite so much as adults wink
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#1762541 - 09/30/11 08:00 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: Arctic_Mama]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Arctic_Mama
You're making awesome progress and fortunately kids don't seem to mind the repetitious nature of scales quite so much as adults wink

I don't believe that. I'm not saying it's the other way either. For myself, for scales in particular, I understand the value of practicing them, and how to practice them repetitiously, than I ever did as a child.
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#1762546 - 09/30/11 08:06 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Arctic_Mama Offline
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Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
Oh, I agree! What I meant was that my kids, for example, don't care when I play the same passage again and again, but my husband gets a bit twitchy wink

I completely agree that as adults we have bit of an edge on self discipline and understanding the theory behind why they are so important.
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Starting over after a decade-long hiatus from playing!
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#1762584 - 09/30/11 09:23 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
Loc: Maine
LOL, now I see what you meant! :-D
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#1762737 - 10/01/11 07:40 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: PianoStudent88]
Dulcetta Offline
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Registered: 09/11/11
Posts: 75
Loc: U.K.
Thanks and yes I understood what you meant about kids not minding the repetitious practice, the way it would annoy other family members.

I have always been a routine, pattern, and organised type of person , to the point of driving others mad .lol
Even as a kid I would practice the same measure of classical guitar over and over till I was happy with it, my dad called me a broken record. laugh
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#1762774 - 10/01/11 09:40 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: Dulcetta]
Dulcetta Offline
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Registered: 09/11/11
Posts: 75
Loc: U.K.
Starting Db major now, but will be spending first fifteen mins working on Ab major contrary motion which is the most challenging so far.
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#1765035 - 10/05/11 08:29 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoPraise Offline
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Registered: 05/05/11
Posts: 72
How is everyone doing working through this book?
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#1765089 - 10/05/11 10:18 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
pg2 Offline
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Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Ontario, Canada
They've arrive!!!. On the 27th of Sept I ordered Scales Bootcamp and Practiceoepedia. I've been trying to track the order. USPS tracking system was down and when it wasn't it all appeared to be at the very beginning of the process until last night.

So, I figured it'll be a few more days. ...but no, a knock on the door this morning and standing in front ot me was a short tubby grayed hair pleasant man holding a package in his hot little hands with a polite Sign here and print There request.

I obeyed, barely managing to keep from ripping the parcel right out of his hands because I knew. Oh yes, I knew that Boot Camp and Practiceoepedia books had arrived.

Smiling as politely as could be managed I got the door closed, then tore open the packaging.

There they were. My very own copies of Scales Bootcamp and Practiceoepedia.

After looking at the contents and scanning various chapters it's clear.

People... these book are the answer to this women's prayers offering solutions to all kind of concerns that have plagued me.

Yahooo.... I'm in like Flynn . all I have to do now is start. I'm off to the piano.

I'll let you know how it goes


Edited by pg2 (10/05/11 10:21 AM)
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Where did you say middle "C" was?

Proud owner of a 1917 Chas. Brothers Grand Piano named "Goldy" She sings like a bird. I lucked out Big Time.

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#1765238 - 10/05/11 02:22 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Arctic_Mama Offline
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Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
I'm glad they arrived and look helpful, I know they have been for me smile

PianoPraise, I'm doing well! Mastered a minor, A Major, b flat minor, and beginning B flat Major. I am just working through cover to cover, doing all the basic achievements and tempo challenges and saving the twists for warmup work in the future. It is taking me between half a week and a week per scale, anywhere from 20-60 minutes per day on them.
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#1765403 - 10/05/11 07:33 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Dulcetta Offline
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Registered: 09/11/11
Posts: 75
Loc: U.K.
ooh you do sound excited PG2 !

Arctic mama, sounds good, that is a discipline I couldn't do, I like routine, but not cover to cover , I have to find a less obvious way . I think going from major to minor would confuse me. I think it will take me some time to get all the tempo challenges done.

PianoPraise, I have posted a fair few times in this thread already but here is today's update;

Day 11; I have reached Master level of C major and Advanced level of F, Bb , Eb , Ab, Db, and F# Major.

(I'm going round the circle of fifths backwards for the major scales then will start the minors.I'm leaving the Octave collector count until I have learnt all the scales ( I intend using this for revision).The only twists so far is 3rd and 6th apart, but will leave the rest of the twists until all scales learnt and then use it to advance and improve.
Tempo wise I can get to 135-150 2 notes per beat.)
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#1766346 - 10/07/11 09:22 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: Dulcetta]
PianoPraise Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/11
Posts: 72
I have not worked on the book as much as I should. I am trying to master the C Major scale then move to F Major. I am thinking this might not be the best way to approach the book. It looks like everyone else is working on several scales at the same time.

I have only been spending approximately an hour a week on this scale. We haven't started scales in my weekly lesson.
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#1766511 - 10/07/11 03:34 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
Loc: Maine
PianoPraise, if this is your first time working with scales I think it makes sense to work on just one scale until you feel a degree of mastery of it. Maybe around or approaching Intermediate level in the BootCamp taxonomy.

Many method books teach scales in this order: C, G, F, D, A, E. Relative minor scales might start to be thrown in after about F, so a, d, e, etc.

The scales C, G, D, A, E all share the same fingering ([5]4321-321 in LH, 123-1234[5] in RH). (I'm using the convention of capital letters for major scales, small letters for minor scales.)

The order chosen for the rest of the major scales is sometimes: Ab, Db, Eb in some order; then B, Bb, F# in some order. The logic of this is based on the pattern of the root triad. C, G, F root triads are all white keys. D, A, E are white-black-white. Ab, Db, Eb are black-white-black. B, Bb, and F# each have their own pattern.

There are two different things going on with scales. One is the fingering. The other is knowing what the notes are in the scale independent of the fingering, or even of the keyboard. I find that knowing what notes are in the scale helps me play them. This may seem obvious but I thought I'd mention it anyway.


Edited by PianoStudent88 (10/07/11 03:41 PM)
Edit Reason: add a paragraph
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#1766517 - 10/07/11 03:49 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
Loc: Maine
Incidentally, after the first 6 major scales, I don't find the root-triad pattern order helpful. For me, B, Db, F# form a group of "fingers 2, 3 on the two black keys; 3, 4, 5 on the three black keys". And this group is easier for me than Eb, Ab, and Bb, whose pattern is "RH finger 4 on Bb, LH finger 4 on the 4th note of the scale". And neither of those patterns is the pattern some people like, which is going around the circle of fifths. And there are several other orders you could choose, including chromatic, white-note then black-note, random, or some other system. So the order you choose can be highly personal.

Hmmm, I don't find going around the circle of fifths helpful to me because I already know the notes of the scales, so I don't need the circle order of "add a sharp (or flat)". So I've chosen my order based on a progression of perceived complexity (to me) of the fingering pattern.
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#1767247 - 10/09/11 11:32 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Eglantine Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 01 2013


Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 804
Loc: Another Country
I bought Palmer's 'Complete Scales...' by accident a few weeks ago, and refer to it daily.

I'm going to take a look at Bootcamp.
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#1767318 - 10/09/11 02:15 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
pg2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Well, I'm working on Am and C. C major is going really well because I've practiced it quite a bit over the past few months.

The A minor on the other hand is giving me fits. I managed to get the once in each hand and once together. I've done the two octaves as well. I only trip up in the fingering when !'m descending in the grand tour.

I did get through it once very, very, very slowly but keep screwing it up since. So I've gone back to the beginning and doing the really really... really... really... slow thing in hopes I can figure out how I'm tripping myself up. It's strictly a problem in the fingering. Same thing with the contrary motion for Am .Having trouble coordinating the fingering for that too.. I can do it all over the keyboard in C .

I'll get it eventually. It's a good thing I love a challenge. looking forward to being able to thunder up and down with contrary motion in the middle that's my goal for all scales. in the meantime. Pray for me, LOL

I really love the deep base growl at the low end of the piano. Yummy.


Edited by pg2 (10/09/11 02:17 PM)
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Where did you say middle "C" was?

Proud owner of a 1917 Chas. Brothers Grand Piano named "Goldy" She sings like a bird. I lucked out Big Time.

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#1767662 - 10/10/11 12:13 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Arctic_Mama Offline
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Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
I've been on vacation, it's good to be back and I'll be resuming my scales tomorrow.

I am only working on one at a time, but I haven't ever found fingering methods or triad groupings helpful. For me, mastering the scale pattern first and then linking it to the greater theory and arpeggios works better, that's why I'm just going cover to cover. It's less intuitive to memorize, but it keeps me from getting stuck in a 'method' for learning the scales. Things like the circle of fifths confuse me more than help, I just do better memorizing which keys have which sharps and flats, take ______ fingering, fit in ______ chords and inversions, etc etc. The patterns become apparent to me after I learn and cement it, but if I learn the 'trick' first, it somehow handicaps my comprehension.

In the same way, I do better working basic repetition and building from the ground up on things like math and science, not jumping around and learning bits and pieces over the years, so I think it is just my brain wink
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#1767666 - 10/10/11 12:17 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Arctic_Mama Offline
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Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
PG2, I can only do contrary motion scales by rote - that is, l must know them so well backwards and forwards, literally eyes closed, that I just let my hands and brain do their thing and let each scale flow outward. If I think about the individual notes and fingerings, especially on extremely difficult scales like b flat minor (my most recent) I can literally not do it at any respectable tempo. Contrary motion is a good test for my knowing a scale well, because just like in the middle of a piece I have to 'know' the scale - thinking about the bits of it kind of defeats the purpose (for me).

Maybe saving the contrary motion work, beyond a run-through or two, until after you have done the repetition challenges will help? Part of the reason I save the tempo challenges for last is because I can't work through both tempo AND accuracy. I must first be accurate, then I can speed it up and run it contrary, in thirds, dynamically adjusted, etc etc.

Your mileage may vary, but this has been my experience over the past few weeks.
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Starting over after a decade-long hiatus from playing!
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#1767672 - 10/10/11 12:35 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 894
I don't know much about this approach, so they might include this concept, but I'll share one helpful scale exercise I do with my students.

Once you can play your scale up and down, try playing every other note (1-3-2-4-3-5, etc). I find that you really have to be able to see the key in order to do that. Whenever I inherit a student who has learned scales the traditional way (using fingers, rote, muscle memory, etc.) I always ask them to do this, and usually find that they can't. (One more reason why I believe memorization doesn't work)

I believe in order to become a great player, you have to be able to visualize everything on the keys. So play your scales out of order, and see how easily you can see it.

PS: If that's easy, try fourths (1-4-2-5-3-6...)
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#1767950 - 10/10/11 12:38 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
pg2 Offline
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Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Ok my face is red.

I talked about being hung up on the A min contrary motion scales. Turns out I was doing them right but it took a little on line search where I could see the scales printed out in regular treble and bass clef form, one above the other like in regular sheet music.

I'm just learning about sharps and flats, playing them that is. And have been feeling a little intimidated by that idea but it was coming along in regular playing.

Because I learned the C major contrary scale a while go, on my own I might add, somehow I got the idea that all the keys should line up so to speak exactly the same way. Not the sharps coming in at different times in different hands. Silly how a misplaced idea stuck onto something else can create such confusion. Talk about trying to stuff a square peg in a round hole.

So there I was doing it right but figuring it had to be wrong. Totally forgot about hand independence.

Boy, I had all kinds of plans to take it to a friend so she could show me where I was going off the rails. I struggled and struggled to make it fit. I had really worried it like a dog with a bone.

Once I saw it in regular notation it made total sense I think I need to get a Palmer's or Alfred's so I can see it both ways. Good thing i'm persistent and good thing I know how to laugh at myself.

Teach me to have a little more faith in myself. My instincts are very good and I can hear when I'm off the rails and clearly I can problem solve too. Yeah I really love playing the scales. Such lovely sounds in the minor scales very eastern sounding to my mind moorish almost... the Amin scale in particular.

Anyway, I'm a happy camper today and will try to keep the faith with my own abilities to figure out where and how I'm going off the rails and to recognize when I've got it right too even when it's different than I expected it to be.
_________________________
Where did you say middle "C" was?

Proud owner of a 1917 Chas. Brothers Grand Piano named "Goldy" She sings like a bird. I lucked out Big Time.

Korg SP 250

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#1767998 - 10/10/11 01:43 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
Loc: Maine
pg2, I'm glad you figured it out! Sometimes there are things that someone just doesn't even think to say, and it takes a totally different view, like you finding the traditional line-up scales, to see what the block is. Congratulations on having A minor down pat.
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#1768280 - 10/10/11 09:29 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Arctic_Mama Offline
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Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
Yay! I'm glad you figured it out! I like minor scales, too, especially the harmonic minors (as opposed to the natural or melodic).
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Starting over after a decade-long hiatus from playing!
Yamaha CLP320

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#1768296 - 10/10/11 09:51 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Burt59 Offline
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Registered: 10/07/11
Posts: 21
Loc: St charles IL
I have to admit i have read this thread many times and i am really tempted by the adventure smile The thing is i only have 2 lessons since i started and i haven't really worked on scales yet. I think i should wait a bit maybe a month or so... what do you guys think?
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#1768352 - 10/10/11 11:40 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
Loc: Maine
What does your teacher suggest? S/he may have a way to introduce you to scales with good mechanics, retention, and music theoretical understanding.
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#1768361 - 10/10/11 11:53 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: Burt59]
Brian Lucas Offline
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Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 894
Originally Posted By: Burt59
I have to admit i have read this thread many times and i am really tempted by the adventure smile The thing is i only have 2 lessons since i started and i haven't really worked on scales yet. I think i should wait a bit maybe a month or so... what do you guys think?
I think it's never too early to start on scales. Not from a rote/mechanical perspective, but actually seeing the scale on the piano. Done slowly and correctly, it can really give your playing an edge.

If you have a teacher, definitely ask about it. I love when my students want to learn more theory. smile
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BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 21+ year teacher and touring musician
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#1769406 - 10/12/11 06:05 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
pg2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Managed to get AM Grand Tour done and the Thrice is Nice thing done too. I'm growing a wonderful appreciation for Am as i work this scale. I'm really listening to every note individually. Each one is so beautiful even on its own.

Tomorrow I'm going to get the Ten Times thing done, I hope.

I just love ticking off those little boxes. I feel so solid like I really accomplished something. Works better for me than gold stars did as a kid.

I'm thinking of using something along the lines of those boxes and tick marks for other pieces I'm working on. I find it's a great incentive... all those lovely little tick marks, yeah!

I like doing the work that's required for these scales It's a good organized way of working, nice to know what to do next.
_________________________
Where did you say middle "C" was?

Proud owner of a 1917 Chas. Brothers Grand Piano named "Goldy" She sings like a bird. I lucked out Big Time.

Korg SP 250

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#1769909 - 10/13/11 12:46 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Arctic_Mama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
:thumbsup:

I do hashmarks in my practice journal for other pieces, too, so I don't lose track and underwork a section initially, and because it helps me see how my times spent and what sections or voices, comparatively, give me more or less trouble. It's really helpful to me, along with writing out the scale and its' theory at the beginning of learning a new one.
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Starting over after a decade-long hiatus from playing!
Yamaha CLP320

Burgmuller - Inquietude

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#1770862 - 10/15/11 12:52 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
notbach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 155
Loc: Texas
Hello, all. I've been lurking for a while and this thread has motivated me to post.

I am new to piano and have been studying with a teacher for around six months. During the early days of lessons she would introduce scales and cadences and ask me to practice them. After the fourth or fifth time I 'forgot' to work on them, she relented a bit. She still asks me to play them every now and then during the lesson (which I do poorly), but mostly we focus on pieces.

Recently, I've been more motivated to improve my playing. I've had a scales book all along, but really could not get motivated to crack it very often. It traveled to the bottom of the music pile on the piano, and rarely surfaced. Out of sight and out of mind, at least until I fumbled through a hands-together scale at my lesson.

I heard about Scales Bootcamp in this thread and did a little investigating. I watched the videos and read what others had to say both here and elsewhere. I'm typically pretty skeptical of learning from method books (never really helped me in my guitar playing), but for $25 I decided I could afford to be disappointed one more time.

My book arrived on Tuesday and I started that night (after getting home from my lesson). I started on C major and got up to Intermediate that night. Wednesday I worked on G major and got it to Intermediate. Thursday was for A minor - Intermediate. And then today I got all three (the 'very easy' scales) up to Advanced. I haven't tried any Twists yet, just the Core and Tempo sections.

Gotta say, the main thing I've learned is that I absolutely love checking off little boxes. I think there's a little endorphin rush each time I complete an achievement. Whatever is happening in my brain, it's keeping me motivated and practicing scales. So I guess what I'm saying is that this book is doing exactly what it advertised. I wouldn't exactly say that I like playing scales, but I'm trying to decide which one to start next.

A few observations so far:
  • I thought C major would be the easiest of the three (CMaj, GMaj, AMin) but is the trickiest as there are no black key landmarks.
  • Contrary motion is easy compared to parallel motion, contrary to my expectations.
  • My left hand is slightly behind my right, development-wise, but not nearly as much as I feared.
  • I wish there was a way to reveal the next tempo goal only after completing the current one. I don't believe that any human can play hands together at MM=140 with four notes to a beat. Inconceivable!

Anyway, kind of a long message. Thanks everybody for posting your experiences with this book as the positive reviews in this thread were a big factor in my investing in it.
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Bach - Two-part Invention No. 14
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#1771550 - 10/16/11 01:09 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
MatsG Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/10/11
Posts: 2
Tip. I uses the iPad app "Piano scales" a lot. Simple app that gives you the fingering and you can choose different scales in all keys simply by selec from the circle of fifths. You find the app in Apples AppStore or using link below.

http://web.comhem.se/pianoscales/

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#1771677 - 10/16/11 05:00 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
pg2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Still working on 10 times a row for Am I manage to keep it going for maybe five times then get tangled aagain always on the downward part.

More slow practice is the only way I can see to fix this. I'm not racing at all but clearly it got to be even slower.

Slower S l o w e r S l o w e r ... ... ... and so on.

It's coming together I'm sure and I feel/think that once I have cracked this for one scale I'll have proven to myself can do it and I won't have this problem in quite the same way again. I hope.

I think also that this is like other things I do and just suddenly everything clicks and falls into place. All struggling falls a way.

On the other hand what is already coming out of this is I am striking the keys with so much more confidence, smoother legato so I'm definitely ahead of the game in that sense. I am also getting much more evenness which is a prime goal for me and that is really what I"m after.

In the meantime Slower S l o w e r S l o w e r ..
_________________________
Where did you say middle "C" was?

Proud owner of a 1917 Chas. Brothers Grand Piano named "Goldy" She sings like a bird. I lucked out Big Time.

Korg SP 250

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#1772108 - 10/17/11 10:07 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
Loc: Maine
pg2, I have the same problem of getting muddled coming down. I think I need to discipline myself to practice just down scales for a while, to really suss out what's confusing me in that motion.

Congratulations on your increase in fluency and technique.

After my initial sprint for 150 ticks in a week, I've slacked off. I'm picking up again now. Doing a lot of just playing scales for fluency, before aiming for actually achieving more ticks. Am currently working on scales that are coming up in my Technique book for lessons. That means a, d, e; then Ab, Db, Eb. Farther down the pike are Gb, Bb, and B, but I find those much easier than Ab and Eb, so I'm not so concerned with pre-prepping them.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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